Monday, March 25, 2013

10K race strategies

After unpacking and getting into a new routine, March and April are "Back to Running!" months.

I signed up for the Ukrop 10K, which is coming up! It's April 13 and there are more than 40,000 people running it. It's huge and while I am not sure if I can run my fastest 10K yet, I would really like to run my pre-baby pace that I ran with Brandon at the Air Force 10K. At the AF race I ran a 8:55 and that was with a huge hill at the start and not knowing I was 5 weeks pregnant. We were aiming for maybe mid 8s.

You wouldn't know that only being five weeks pregnant would affect your race, but it pooped me out. I was running as fast as I could, while Brandon was famously running beside me chatting and jumping over random barrels.

I found this article that said to have a fast 10K you need to work on endurance rather than speed. What do you all think? Today I just did a tempo run that felt hard, but I was able to maintain for 3.2 miles. I also did a w/up and c/d. I paced the 3.2 around 8:45. I do think I need to get some longer, slower runs in, but kiddos make it hard. :)

The goals of this program are to increase endurance and strength by increasing the overall mileage base and to improve aerobic glycogen metabolism and efficiency by increasing the longest runs to distances beyond race length. Some of the long runs should be done on hilly terrain to develop strength.

March madness

We have had a beautiful March in Rva. It's been cold and chilly, but for the most part it's been pretty sunny and around 40s and 50s.

Ryder and I have gotten some walks in and Brandon and I did our first longish runs last Saturday. I was not looking forward to running and hated on it all day long. Around 2 pm I finally left and got in 7 miles. IT was gorg outside --54 and sunny--I think I may have gotten sunburnt! I tackled this hill that was almost half a mile long and the highest hill I have ever done. You could see the mountains in the distance. I came back from running and told Brandon my route and that he had to do it.

He came back saying how crazy the hill was and enjoyed the awesome weather. Of course it started snowing the next day. It was freezing and we enjoyed almost 2 inches of snow.

I am trying to get back into running 20-plus miles per week. It's been hard with our schedules and snow and getting into a routine again. I wanted to get out Sunday for recovery miles, but with the snow it didn't happen. I did try a cycle express class on Friday and loved it. It was hard and at some points I was pedaling 21 mph. We did loads of intervals and climbs so it was great cross-training.

Ryder is also enjoying being outside and eating everything. Dirt. Sticks. Grass. You name it. He loves to play with balls and we all love watching the silly squirrels that jump around the trees. They have become our little pets. :) The girls have named the squirrels "Sammy" and we love watching them run around like they have had four shots of espresso.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Virginia is for lovers

Hi all!
Since we last left, my family and I took the very crazy plunge and moved about 500 miles across the country from Ohio to Virginia. I don't know how to capture all that has been in our family's lives, but as someone said once, "write what you think people want to know." For me that would be moving a family with three small children. 

I hesitated to write on the blog during that first month. For one, our computer was fried by water thanks to Ms. Sophia in the hotel. Secondly, that period of our move was a somewhat personal and emotional and I didn't want to write in the middle of a swirl of emotions 

One day you would have heard me say, "Can you believe how close to the mall we are?" "We haven't filled up our gas in 1.5 weeks!!" Virginia is amazing! 

Another day you would have seen me yearning for family and friends who knew us. The girls had periods of real sadness for their friends, home and schools. 

They would say, "We want to go to our real home!" 

Ava went from going to school every other day to going to school every day and needing help with reading because she was behind. On the 100th day of school as students celebrated, Ava had only been in school 50 days! 

My parents have lived in the same place (5 miles vicinity) and I have lived in Columbus most of my life. Most of our extended family lives there and Brandon's family lives in Michigan. I did go to college in Missouri so I gamely thought I was up for the challenge. 

Well, I should have gotten a good foreshadowing when a friend at church told me how hard it was for her kids. Blinking. I looked at her as she said she hugged her children on the living room floor at night because it was so hard on them. 

Right. We experienced that same thing. 

I will say moving has evicted such emotions in our family and lives that I never thought of -- loss of self-worth, loss of identity, a sense of loss, happiness and joy; a sort of rebuilding period. Sophia and Ryder have needed a lot of attention and cuddles. And Ava just processed it out loud and was exhausted from school. She also was sad to leave her friends. Sophia started having really bad nightmares and she had them for a solid month. Every night and every day during naptime she woke up screaming. Ryder got sick and had bronchiolitis and two ear infections. Ava got strep. Yep. 

In Ohio, our kids were put in childcare by one of our friends who happened to be near. Here, I have had to beg, bribe and cajole Sophia for a solid month to go into childcare. Brandon had her one Sunday and she kicked and screamed on the floor. Twice.

And through it all we just did life. I think we were a little numb. Brandon and I never said, "Why us?" We just wished that we had some sort of normal. Was this our new normal? 

We were so used to life like we knew it and our old routine that that anything else was weird and almost foreign to us. 

During college I visited Europe and I have to say, it's almost like the same culture shock I received there. I am called Ma'am and little boys hold the doors for you. The weather in March is 50. People are more "southern" :). 

We have loved the smaller town feel and the less congestion. And I know that God has His sweet hand in our lives. I haven't heard God in a loud voice. But, I have made it each day and I have appreciated my husband and children more. 

And I believe that God has us here for a purpose. A sweet lady at Brandon's work gave me Susan Miller's "After the Bags are Unpacked" book, which is funny because another friend, Tonia, sent me Miller's blog site. 

One of my favorite parts of the books says that after you have moved you go through a dormant season like daffodils. They are underground, refreshing until that perfect time to bloom. This was an especially sweet analogy to me because all of those daffodils are in bright array right now and there is a field of them across our house. 

Never. Ever. Did I think it would be this hard to move. Never. But, I also think God has us here for a purpose. We have grown closer as a family. We have been blessed beyond (I'm talking BLESSED!), and our sense of coziness and "being known" has been replaced by an utter dependency on Him. And we got to work together as a family to pray. We laid hands on Sophia and prayed for her and she has had almost no more nightmares (this is huge!) and we prayed that Ava would find some good friends and she has! 

If you are moving far away from friends and family -- God bless you! I would offer just some small things we found that really helped us. 
  • Prepare your heart for not having a "schedule" for about a month.
  • Unpack one room that you can relax in after you have done the kitchen and kids bedrooms. 
  • Ask a kind neighbor for help locating doctors, urgent cares (here they are patient firsts), and other things like sitters
  • Make date night priority! Our friend Lisa told me to do this and, while in Ohio we maybe had one date night per month, here we have one at least every other weekend. Awesome advice. 
  • Facetime or Skype to see your lovelies
  • Throw away the idea of perfection and your expectations of your life and what you think your kids should "look like" 
  • Rely on easy meals for the first couple of weeks. 
  • Think of your budget like Christmas and understand you will probably not save for a couple of months
  • Build in new traditions or routines (we have been swimming every Sunday night and we have really enjoyed it) 
  • Find a church girl! 
  • I will do a blog post about finding a church, but will say find one that you both agree on so that come Sunday, one of you won't dread going. 
  • Get plugged in at your church via a bible study. And give yourself leeway to not volunteer for a little while to get your house and family in order (I have had to stuff my hand a couple of times). 
  • Understand that moving is stress. Stress not released via prayer, communication with your spouse or through exercise makes you dam up. Release it friend! It's okay to cry. It's ok to call your friend or sister with a 911 at nap time. 
  • Love. Love covers a multiple of offenses with your spouse and children.